Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children
Date Published: May 6th, 2014
Pages: 304 (hardcover)
Age Range: 13+
Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she'd rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?
And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money--fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.
Holly's chapel represents everything she's ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.
I heard about this book last year, and the flap looked so promising that I had to read it as soon as physically possible. Unfortunately, this has been my first chance to read the book without actually buying it. I am the kind of person that reads books before I buy them because books are too expensive and wonderful to simply throw money away on; also, I am working teen making very little money. Anyway! I must say that I'm glad that I did not buy this book before I read it; I did not like it very much, and certainly did not like it enough to buy and place on my bookshelves.
Right from the very beginning, I disliked Holly; she really grated on my nerves at every turn. I didn't agree with almost any of the decisions that she made, and I didn't enjoy how very little growth she underwent during the story. I expected Holly to walk out of the scenario a changed woman, but the only real change that she underwent was realizing how truly screwed up her family was, and having a new boyfriend to show for her struggles. Honestly, I just couldn't relate to her in any way. Out of all of the characters that we meet in this book, James is probably my favorite. I do feel like he underwent some major change, and I just plain liked him. Lenore, I despised. I couldn't take Holly's parents seriously because they were so absent-minded and self-absorbed. Victor made me laugh, but felt like a total tool. I liked Simon, but I just kept comparing him to Simon from the Mortal Instruments. Camille, I wish that we had gotten to know some more. Dax, oh, Dax. He existed. I tried to love him, but I just couldn't.
My favorite part of the whole book was when Holly read her grandfather's letter. I actually got a little misty-eyed because that part hit home for me. The whole ordeal with the wedding chapel was unique, and interesting, but nothing really made the story stand out as anything special. The book had a lot of potential, but it nose-dived and fell way flat. The writing was also pretty middle-grade-ish.
Lindsey Leavitt has been on my to-read list for a long time now, but I don't think that I will be reading anything by her anytime soon. Sean Griswold's Head is also on my TBR list, but I won't be grabbing it for awhile.